Best Value Colleges in Mississippi

Named after the mighty Mississippi River, the Magnolia State boasts southern charm, culture, and a variety of higher education institutions, both public and private. The state itself is known for its impact in classic American literature and its influence on creating blues music. Mississippi is also rich with history, specifically its role in the civil war era. If you’re thinking about attending a college in this state, use PayScale as a guide to ensure you’re getting the most out of your tuition dollars.

Find out exactly what you should be paid
RankSchool Name20 Year Net ROI
Total 4 Year Cost
Graduation Rate
Typical Years to Graduate
Average Loan Amount
Rank:1School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$316,000Total 4 Year Cost:$90,800Graduation Rate:60%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$26,900
Rank:2School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$269,000Total 4 Year Cost:$138,000Graduation Rate:60%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$26,900
Rank:3School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$262,000Total 4 Year Cost:$92,100Graduation Rate:60%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$33,500
Rank:4School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$212,000Total 4 Year Cost:$143,000Graduation Rate:60%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$33,500
Rank:5School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$181,000Total 4 Year Cost:$199,000Graduation Rate:72%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$28,000
Rank:6School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$179,000Total 4 Year Cost:$82,900Graduation Rate:45%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$25,100
Rank:7School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$171,000Total 4 Year Cost:$135,000Graduation Rate:36%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$24,800
Rank:8School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$152,000Total 4 Year Cost:$117,000Graduation Rate:59%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$23,100
Rank:9School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$144,000Total 4 Year Cost:$117,000Graduation Rate:45%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$25,100
Rank:10School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$139,000Total 4 Year Cost:$104,000Graduation Rate:46%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$18,600

Mississippi State University is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a public college. When it comes to getting the best bang for your buck in Mississippi, MSU is the way to go. Back in the day, MSU was started as an agricultural and mechanical college called Mississippi A&M, and in 1958 the name was officially changed to Mississippi State University to reflect its refined curriculum. MSU is located in Starkville, MS, where students can enjoy the perks of walkable areas around the college, like the Cotton District which is filled with eclectic restaurants and bars tucked in amongst the historical Victorian architecture. With a rich Greek life, MSU students can join any of the 19 IFC fraternities or 13 Panhellenic Greek organizations. Around 20 percent of the student population at MSU participates in Greek life.

If you have your sights set on attending a private school in Mississippi, Belhaven University is a great option. The private, Christian college is located in the Jackson metro and is well-known for its commitment to the arts. Belhaven offers 27 areas of studies, including a nursing major which was introduced in 2014. Belhaven is one of only 36 schools that offer the full spectrum of the major arts including visual arts, music, dance and theatre.

The University of Mississippi — better known as Ole Miss — is another public college option. With a student enrollment of 23,000, Ole Miss is slightly bigger than MSU. Located in the city of Oxford, Ole Miss students are known for being passionate sports fans — they’re boisterous supporters of the Rebels, as their teams are known — and they enjoy an incredible and diverse music scene in the heart of the town; students can visit The Lyric for a music show, or grab a read at the best independent book store in the country, called Square Books. And they’re all conveniently within walking distance. Oxford gained further renown when Bob Dylan wrote a song inspired by the town, called “Oxford Town.”